Escape from the Budget Lockup!


Random Thoughts on the Experience – The $100 lunch, with some pieces of paper

For those of us who are too important, or too forgetful to leave our phones at the office, there’s a set of trays by the door. My phone is the oldest and simplest.

Lots of cameramen wandering around, while not much happens, yet. They’ve printed the name badges with the names in tiny, tiny script. Hence if you don’t know, or can’t remember people’s faces, you’re screwed for networking.

Oooh, its in a big room in the Beehive. I’ve been in NZ for a while, I’ve forgotten that there are such things as big rooms.

Then they deliver the budget papers, and its an exercise in speed reading, from now until I’m done.

Unknown guy next to me has a huge camera pointed in his face. I’d better look like I’m doing some work, when I’d really rather be eating my lunch. Must also remember to keep a straight face. The pies are tiny.

The speeches – Cullen sees very much on to it. He makes me want to listen to what he says about fiscal responsibility. That’s a handy skill. He’s better in real life than he is on TV, and seems more comfortable talking to policy analysts than parliament.

Donne looks like a poodle. Cullen is part of a party with 50 MPs, Donne is half of his party. Its like watching the US and the UK pretending to be equals. Or possibly the US and Poland. Donne is talking about the importance of a multi-party government and err…. hell, he’s lost me. I don’t know why he’s here.

Random Thoughts on the Budget – This week’s phrase is ‘fiscal responsibility’

The NZ economy is just great, so everyone can go home now. But seriously, we haven’t had it this good for this long, great growth and very low unemployment. (Well, unless you want to buy a house, in which case you’ve a problem.)

Counter-cyclical government spending should counter inflation, so no big increases in spending right now. Instead, we’ve got investment in productivity to increase natural growth rate of the economy, i.e. How fast we can grow without overheating. Similarly, there’s incentives to hld back our lust for private debt.

Although, Kiwisaver – good idea, will it be big enough to make a difference?

Ooh, big shiny business tax cut, Cullen reminded us all that the last time it was cut was also by a Labour government.

We’ve been arguing for tax cuts for research and development for quite some time now. We get tax cuts for research and development. I have to stop myself from dancing on the tables. Its really not a dancing on the tables gig.

No increases for beneficiaries, but the argument goes – the government would rather help the unemployed by getting unemployment down. Kinda sucks for sickness beneficiaries though. Students get higher income thresholds and parental income thresholds, and more scholarships, but the majority of assistance goes to institutions, not to students.

Railways, railways, railways. Double track and electrification to Waikanae, hurrah, and something about electrifying Aucks and trains every 10 minutes, rather than once in a blue moon. Yes, I’m a Wellingtonian.

$3B for health. No more for health research. That’s not long-term thinking, but welcome. Overseas assistance heading for 0.35%, after being far too low. I’d still like to know how, or if, we’ll get to 0.7% of GDP, but this is heading in the right direction at a fair rate.

And a few things got said about sustainability. Enough? No. Nowhere near.

But hey, as budgets go, this one is good for the economy and comfortably boring.

3 thoughts on “Escape from the Budget Lockup!”

  1. You should have danced on the tables. It would have made the budget less boring.

    Thanks for the summary, by the way. I will not get time to study it in detail this week due to IEGF (industry expert geek factor) demanding that I wrangle CEOs till 5pm Friday.

    We get tiny pies too.

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